"Our [Indian Ink] philosophy of the serious laugh - of opening the audiences' mouth with laughter and slipping something serious in - is something we've held onto." Metro Magazine, Auckland 2nd July 2010

Born in Malaysia, Jacob Rajan moved to New Zealand with his parents (who are from Southern India) at the age of four. After completing a BSC in Microbiology and a Diploma in Primary Teaching, Jacob graduated from Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School. Since graduation, Jacob has had a stellar career which he began with a journey to India to experiment with contemporary and traditional theatre forms.

Upon his return to New Zealand, Jacob played an important part - as both musical director and performer - in the Theatre at Large production of Cyrano de Bergerac. After premiering in Auckland, this production went on to the 1996 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts and both the Perth and Adelaide Arts Festivals.

Television credits include Cover Story, Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune and the TV3 drama Fish Skin Suit, the screenplay for which was written by one of the inaugural Arts Foundation Laureates, Briar Grace-Smith. Jacob has many other stage credits to his name, including The Tempest, The Revenger's Tragedy, Vampyre Dances, Hamlet and Beauty and the Beast.

His most groundbreaking work has been the conception and performance of the 'loose' trilogy of Krishnan's Dairy, The Candlestickmaker and The Pickle King. All three shows have been sell-out successes, with Krishnan's Dairy not only winning a Fringe First Award at the 1999 Edinburgh Fringe Festival but also earning Jacob a nomination for the Stage Award for Acting Excellence.

Jacob premiered his play The Dentist's Chair, which he co-wrote with Justin Lewis, as a part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival in March 2008.

Indian Ink's latest production magically brings to life a delicious brew of colourful characters.   The Guru of Chai began a four-centre New Zealand tour in New Zealand began in late 2010 before seasons in Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore.    "The Guru of Chai showcases Jacob at his very best and reinforces him as one of New Zealand's most hard working, deserving, disciplined and gifted theatre artists".
Kate Ward Smythe, Theatreview

Indian Ink's latest production Kiss the Fish premiered in Hamilton in August and then had a season in Auckland in September.  

Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis (Indian Ink Theatre Company) are on the books of David Lieberman, one of the USA's most influential performing artists' agents.

Jacob received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2002 and was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 New Year's honours list.  He lives in Wellington with his wife and children. 

For more information, visit http://www.indianink.co.nz/


Jacob Rajan reflects on the inspiration for his work and the relationship this has with his family at a Forsyth Barr Laureates On-Stage event held in Wellington in 2009.
A meeting at an Arts Foundation event between theatre practitioner Jacob Rajan and composer Jack Body leads Jacob on an amazing journey to Bali to commission masks from a master mask maker.


Three Arts Foundation award recipients, singer Madeleine Pierard; children's book illustrator and writer Gavin Bishop and playwright and actor Jacob Rajan discuss why they create work with Paul Bushnell and Awa Press writer Jane Bowron
Jacob Rajan chose to push his creative self to the limit by studying mask under the master teachers of Bali. He speaks about the experience on National Radio 26 June 2012
   born, Malaysia
   moved to New Zealand (aged 4)
  Bachelor of Science in Microbiology 
   studied primary teaching
   graduated, Toi Whakaari (Drama School)
   created Indian Ink Theatre company with Director, Justin Lewis
   Krishnan's Diary premieres
   Krishnan's Diary wins Fringe First Award, Edinburgh
  The Candlestickmaker premieres;
    Arts Foundation Laureate Award: The Pickle King premieres- wins outstanding Performance of the Year - Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards;
   The Dentist's Chair premieres
    The Guru of Chai premieres;won Best Actor in the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards
Made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit Kiss the Fish premieres